TJX Security Breach

For those that may not have already heard, TJX Cos. (parent company of retailers such as Marshalls and TJ Maxx) has disclosed that they have had a security breach and customer data has been stolen.

Apparently the system that was breached included information on credit and debit transactions, as well as checks and merchandise returns. The impact is for customers in the US and Puerto Rico but may also include the UK and Ireland. According to the AP, it appears that the credit card companies are taking steps to monitor their customer accounts for any fraudulently activity. However, some customers have had their drivers license information breached as well, so the risk of identity theft is quite high as well.

Are You Kidding Me?
The company spokeswoman has indicated that they believe the security breach took place in May of 2006 but was not discovered until mid-December. Excuse me?!? It took TJX Cos. nearly 7 months to identify that they even had a security breach. That would not instill a lot of confidence in me if I were a customer of their stores. Luckily, we do not shop at any of the companies under their umbrella.

The fact that it took a month to disclose to the public is a little more understandable, as I am sure that law enforcement wanted the opportunity to take action before the story hit the news. However, I really think that the 7 months it took to discover the security breach is completely unacceptable.

Monitor Your Accounts.
For any of you that have been a customer of any TJX stores as far back as 2003, please take the time to closely monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. In addition, now may be a perfect time to take advantage of the free credit report and review all of your accounts and activity. Due to the nature of the information that was stolen, it is possible that accounts were created that you may not even know about.

It will be interesting to see how TJX Cos. responds to this serious breach of security and the fact that it took them approximately 7 months to discover the problem. If you are a customer of any TJX Cos. store and are concerned or would like more information, they have established a hotline at 866.484.6978 or you can visit their website.

Share your thoughts on this breach and whether or not you will shop at a TJX Cos. store in the near future.

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